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Smartphone shipments go up as retail prices drop

27 November 2013

Posted by Michelle Devonshire

The global shipment of smartphones has gone up by almost 40 per cent this year, while the average selling value has dropped over 12 per cent.

This is according to research from the International Data Corporation's (IDC's) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. Its findings suggest a strong trend for low-cost smartphones, driving the market to ship bigger quantities of cheaper electronics.

By 2017, IDC predicts shipping volumes will reach 1.7 billion units with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 18.4 per cent between now and then.

In Europe, the firm predicts 182.1 million units will be shipped this year, 18 per cent of the global market. By 2017, this will drop to a 15.5 per cent share, although this will still equal 261 million units and, overall, IDC predicts a five year CAGR of 11.1 per cent for the continent.

At the same time, average selling price (ASP) for smartphones is expected to drop from $419 (£257) to £259 in 2017, a CAGR of minus nine per cent over half a decade.

IDC's program director Ryan Reith said: "Just a few years back the industry was talking about the next billion people to connect and it was assumed the majority of these people would do so by way of the feature phone. Given the trajectory of ASPs, smartphones are now a very realistic option to connect those billion users."

The rise in smartphones can also arguably be linked to their growing appearance in work places, alongside social life and private use. A recent report from Gartner suggested the nature of 'bring your own device' (BOYD) policies should be approached as an application strategy rather than a purchasing policy, arguing develops should look to offer apps to better integrate smartphones into workplaces, adapting to this growing trend.

This wider use also poses its own risks in the form of IT security and the direct audience. As more people use the devices, the possibility to spread data expands, while the nature of external, un-networked devices in the work environment can cause problems for office security suites.

However, IDC argues 'choose your own device' will outgrow BOYD policies. Letting employers choose from a range of devices allows IT departments better security and control over networks and work data.

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